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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: Theodoros Ioannis <>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 10:20:59 -0700
Subject: Greetings From Theodoros Ioannis

Dear brethren,

I apologize for using this medium to contact you for such a huge business
proposal. This is because of the situation where my freedom is violated and

I was once the CEO of a multinational oil company and now retired. I am in
asylum because of political oppression of false allegations leveled against
me by nefarious politicians in my country.

I want to go private to invest US35M through a neutral individual and I
will hand over the said amount to you if you agree to work with me
honestly. Advise on any sector you deem lucrative to invest in your country
so that I can forward the investment agreement for signing and we can take
it from there.

Thank you in anticipation.

Theodoros Ioannis

Anti-fraud resources: